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Who is the Artistic Mermaid?

An artist, a diver, an ocean activist, Anna-K Cuffe is a mermaid in her truest form.

Born in 1996 in Kingston Jamaica, my artistic journey began with the years spent at St. Andrew High School for Girls. Following my passion for the arts, went straight to Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts to pursue a degree in Fine Arts. As I moved deeper into my studies my admiration for and appreciation of the rhythmic movements of the ocean, its diverse and beautiful coral reefs and all its inhabitants merged with my passion for fine arts, specifically ceramics.

At first, my sculptures often took a formalistic approach to art; focusing exclusively on the form of the pieces rather than the content. However, for my final year project at the Edna Manley College, I ventured away from simply creating art for art’s sake and aimed instead to contribute to the conversation about our dying coral reefs. In 2017 I graduated from Edna Manley College with a Bachelors of Fine Arts specializing in ceramic sculpture. 

“Why is it that scuba divers and surfers are some of the strongest advocates of ocean conservation? Because they’ve spent time in and around the ocean, and they’ve personally seen the beauty, the fragility, and even the degradation of our planet’s blue heart.”

Sylvia Earle

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Artist Statement

 From the intricately embellished patchwork of the corals themselves to the countless multicolored creatures that reside in the crevices of the reefs, every cubic inch of a prosperous coral habitat appears to be thriving and teeming with complexity. Over the years I have gained admiration and appreciation for these diverse and beautiful marine habitats that consist of such mesmerizing details that still contributes to not only the oceans’ creatures but also to man. Therefore, to see the deterioration from the once buzzing, thriving and incredibly lush coral reefs to now an algae field encrusting dead coral skeletons causes great remorse. Large areas once covered with vast piles of delicate branching stag-horn coral are now piles of eroding rubble, absent are the multitude of fishes and invertebrates that once dwelled in the crevices of the reefs. Even more disturbing and alarming is the fact that persons are unaware of the wondrous treasure that has been lost. Our lack of connection to this under ocean world has led to a sense of apathy regarding its decline, but through art, is it possible to create a connection that will enact a positive change?